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Prostate cancer deserves greater attention

Breast Cancer

As a 13-year survivor of prostate cancer, it was with great interest that I read the article, "My prostate cancer month" (Sept. 16) by Judy Berman.

My own cancer was discovered when, following general guidelines, I had a PSA test done as part of my annual physical when I turned 50. The results were slightly worrisome, but we waited another year to see if there was a change. And there was. A biopsy was performed and cancer was found.

Following the excellent advice of my urologist all along the journey, we were able to cure the prostate cancer, and of course my wife and I couldn't be happier.

I have been in two prostate-cancer support groups in the Baltimore area, and I've learned several things from the variety of urologists who spoke to us through the years. One was the statistic that as many men die of prostate cancer each year as women die from breast cancer. And that prostate cancer can be slow-growing or not-slow-growing, so different decisions have to be made concerning what the man can accept.

One of the things we discussed in my support groups was why prostate cancer doesn't get as much publicity as breast cancer does. And many of us felt it was because of myths out there — your sex life is over and you'll lose bladder control, for example — and most men are just too embarrassed to say that they have those situations. The truth of the matter is that thanks to modern medical advances, incontinence and erectile dysfunction can be overcome by almost all men.

Thank you for so prominently displaying this article during Prostate Cancer Awareness month. My wife and I hope that men (and their partners) will be challenged and supported by what they read in the article.

David Roberts, Maryland Line

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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